The Insta-Elite: Meet House and Home's favourite renovators-slash-interiors-influencers

By Aoife Valentine 24-09-2018

Meet House and Home’s favourite Instagram-slash-renovators-slash-interiors-influencers. Inspiring us with their style savvy and lifestyle chutzpah, they’re the ones we click ‘like’ on the daily

Image: Ciara Elliott

With so much noise on Insta, it’s really easy to keep on scrolling. But that’d be a shame, because interiors Instaland is a really wonderful place – just check our monthly hashtag #MyHouseandHome for evidence of the community and creativity that abounds. This issue, we’re celebrating two Instagrammers we’re currently crushing on for renovations #inspo, and we’ve the low-down on five international check-ins we never miss, too.


The old-house reno

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All of the cosy autumnal feels after the school run today, and was it just me or did anyone else actually enjoy the duller weather?🙋‍♀️🍂 I get so much more done! Anyway as promised it’s time to share the amazing prizes that we have for hashie #colourmyhome this month! So hosts @alexcrabtreepr @oxfordone and myself are hoping that you will keep posting your colourful interior pics to be in with a chance of winning the following interior pieces and art from these small insta companies! Drumroll please 🥁 ... The bundle includes... 1️⃣ Beautiful portrait print from @amybeager 2️⃣ A smelly candle from @quinnluxecandles, 3️⃣ Pretty coasters from 4️⃣ A stunning painting from @pennyfeathersvintage, 5️⃣ 2x 2.5l tins of paint from @mypainthouse and 6️⃣ A stationery gift set from @sloanestationery! Swipe to see the pics, and please don’t forget to follow all the hosts and also the prize givers and then just wait with bated breath to see if your gorgeous square is chosen at the end of September! Have a lovely evening all 🖤 ✨#livethelittlethings #littlebitsof_life #howtheyhome #gloomandglow #feelfreefeed #ig_windows #interior123 #interior4all #interior4you #interiorboom #interiordesign #myhomevibe #myhousethismonth #homedecor #cosyupyourworld #nestandthrive #nestandburrow #decoracrossthepond #sassyhomestyle #interiorboom #loungedecor #livingroomdecor #howivintage

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Who: Meet Ciara Elliott, the UK-dwelling Dubliner who’s a former editor of House and Home’s sister magazine Confetti, and fashion editor of The Sunday Tribune. As editor of interiors mag Essential Kitchens Bathroom Bedroom, she’s well up on everything homes. A mum of two girls, Ciara runs pop-up fashion events at Fashion Reboot and co-hosts two Instagram hashtags #colourmyhome and #nestandthrive.

My Insta-beginning: I first started using Instagram after a move to London. After a busy city life, I found myself freelancing at home with a new baby and a two-year-old. It was a fun creative outlet I used to connect with other creative mums.

I use it for: At first I used it as an antidote to work, but now it’s merged more and more with my work, particularly since I started doing more interiors and doing up my house.


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Morning ✨ Feeling a bit more human today after a proper soak & sleep last night following the excesses of the week & a late @fash_reboot on Friday night. But now suddenly it’s Sunday and I’m thinking of all the house stuff I failed to do yesterday and feeling mucho guilt 🙈 I think to be really good at weekends (eg effectively balancing grown up time with family w the endless house stuff and bits of work stuff that are always niggling away) you need to be so focussed. You’ve got to have those picture hooks sorted & be ready to go - you’ve got to have thought in advance to have booked those tickets for the show you wanted to see and have those groceries in for the easy, healthy weekend feasts you’ve been visualising . I’ll just never be like that though!! With us it’s a tag team of who’s driving who where & when and if we get to sit down at all it’s usually right at the end of the day - and then the last thing we want to do is get a babysitter and go out! 🙈😂 Anyway next week it’s @l_d_f_official madness so really today should be a day of rest. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. How do you juggle weekend time? Do you feel frustrated when you get to Sunday if you haven’t done what you meant to?? One for #mystylishspace favourite room - it’s still our bathroom, the sunniest & cosiest room in the house. Happy Sunday all. And breathe 🙏🏻💙 #bluebathroom #bathroomdecor #bathroomdesign #sideboard #interior123 #interiormilk #interior4all #interiordesign #myhousethismonth #howtheyhome #howivintage #cornersofmyhome #cornersofmyworld #styleithappy #stylingtheseasons #myhyggehome #myhomeforhp #myhometrend #reclaimyourcorner #pocketofmyhome #myoffcataloguehome #bathroomcabinet #colourmyhome #bathroomstorage #bathroomstyling

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It’s a brilliant outlet: It’s brought so much to my life – not only all the daily inspiration and chats and updates, beyond that I’ve met so many great people. I run my Fashion Reboot business through it - I do barely any other marketing other than Instagram.

My project: We’re currently renovating an 1800s farmhouse in the Suffolk/Essex countryside. We’re due to move back in in spring and I can’t wait! There’ll still be a lot of internal work to do then – namely kitchen and bathroom – but the building work will be done. We’ll also need to tackle the patio and the garden – and the cellar and the front of the house... I can see a lot of busy bank holidays ahead!

Instagram: @ciaraelliott


The new-build do-over

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I’m off! I’m off on a World Chatting Tour! Which actually only involves TWO chats, over two days, in front of two actual, real-life crowds, but still. (Or possibly, if tickets haven’t sold, a couple of confused people, who just came looking for a place to have their cheese roll and cappuccino). Anyway, when they say it takes a village, they’re not wrong are they? LOGISTICS! I’m overnighting in London tonight, so there are lists drawn up, post-it notes stuck to various things with ‘don’t forget!’ written on, ‘PACKED LUNCHES!’ scrawled on one - in the fridge. I’ve WhatsApped the childminder about dinner, my husband is primed to ‘get home early,’ clean school shirts have been laid out because it’s school photo day and they ‘must brush their hair,’ with ‘MUST’ underlined three times. Hell, even Dave the postman knows to leave the post next door. And it’s for 48-hours!! I’m exhausted and I haven’t even STARTED the chatting! So if you’re coming to see either event (Red Magazine Smart Women Week today, London Fashion Week Festival tomorrow) - please come and say hi! A cheese roll / cappuccino is also always welcome 😎 #smartwomenweek @hearstliveuk @londonfashionweekfestival #londonfashionweekfestival #cheeseroll #ortunamayo

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Who: Erica Davies, who’s our style crush (what this woman can do with a skirt is holy). A former fashion editor, she’s from the north of England and lives on the Essex/Suffolk border. Now a lifestyle blogger, Erica focuses mainly on fashion and interiors.

Why Instagram: I’m a really visual person, so I love the idea of curating your own visual magazine filled with things that appeal to your aesthetic. I love the fact Instagram has provided a platform for so many talented creatives who wouldn’t necessarily have been given that chance previously.

I’m known for: Colour, outfit ideas and interior design.

Instagram changed everything: It has now become my job, working with brands and partnering up on interesting projects. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and work flexibly at home so I can collect my children from school.


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I’ve been backwards and forwards to London a lot this week for work. This month is quite unbelievably busy with work - which is AMAZING and I am very grateful. Also, I am making the most of it, because who knows how long it’ll last?! But does anyone else feel a bit out of control when the needle dips more one way than the other? When work is good, but your washing pile is touching the ceiling? When you’re juggling drop-offs with train timetables, but you don’t have any milk in the fridge? When your diary looks epic, but you can’t make the meet the teacher sessions at school? And even though work is going well, it’s THAT which makes you feel like a failure. Also works the other way of course - you could have the tidiest house in the world, but worry when you’ll next get paid. My house looks tidy now, but please believe when I say everything has been shoved in a drawer. It’s the decor equivalent of a swan gliding on the surface, but paddling madly underneath! I guess we are all just trying to make everything work in our own way. And we absolutely WILL - but it’s OK to admit that sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming! Happy Friday ❤️

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My wishlist piece: I always desperately wanted the Paul Smith ‘LOVE’ wall hanging. And I’d love a dressing room with leopard print carpet. Oh, and I’m definitely including panelled walls upstairs in our bedroom.

My project: We’re just about to start the children’s playroom and then I’d like to start on bedrooms – we haven’t tackled anything upstairs yet.

Instagram: @erica_davies


International bright young things

Five more to ‘like’...

UK: @patirobins

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There is no secret that i am useless at judging how much pasta does one need for dinner -any pasta not just spaghetti - so if you and all your friends don’t want to cook tonight - pop in -i am sure there will be plenty of food left 🤫😉⁣ Are you guys as happy here too that weekend is only few hours away? Is anyone tacking any projects this weekend ? ⁣ ⁣ 🇵🇱 Nie jest zadna tajemnica w srod osob ktore mnie znaja, ze ja nigdy nie potrafie odmierzyc wystarczajacej ilosci makaronu na obiad - spaghetti wliczajac -tak wiec jesli Ty i wszscy twoi znajomi nie chca dzis gotowac- wpadajcie do nas -jestem pewna ze bedzie wystarczajaco jedzenia 🤫😉⁣ Czy wy tez jestescie zadowoleni,ze jest prawie weekend? Macie jakies plany? Moze projekty diy? -dajcie znac ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #bedroomgoals #bedroominspo⁣⁣ #sypialnia #mustardyellow #wallpanelling #boardandbatten ⁣⁣

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What might surprise you is that this not only is this home rented, but it’s also disabled-adapted. Photographer and eclectic maximalist Pati has brought all her skills to bear in this amazing space – and there’s always something new going on.


Ireland: @leoandcici

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In between working on house plans for clients, consulting on a separate marketing project and trying to raise a four month old baby, I’ve now decided it’s time to makeover our bedroom. 😜 To be fair, I had planned it ages ago but Arthur’s early arrival scuppered all plans (in the best way possible). Poor Simon has two weeks holidays in September, and they will now be filled with prepping and painting this room and Arthur’s nursery. I will be adding some wallpaper, new light fittings and textiles to this room and, if the budget can stretch to it, new flooring too. Very excited to get started now! . . . . . . . . . . . . . #bedroom #makeover #stiffkeyblue #pink #interiordesigner #interiorinspiration #interiors #interiorstyle #interiorinspo #apartmenttherapy #beautifulhomes #homestyle #interiorstylist #sodomino #dslooking #postitfortheaesthetic #currentdesignsituation #inspiremyinstagram #interior123 #howyouhome #finditstyleit #myhomevibe #inspiration #instablog #instablogger #propstyle #stylist #myinteriorstyletoday

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Dubliner Elaine Verdon’s Instagram regularly showcases her own home and its evolving décor journey, her creative inspirations – she’s an interior designer – as well as the beautiful locations she visits in her pursuit of pretty.


US: @sarahshermansamuel

Not only does Sarah Sherman Samuel have a delish décor style for her own home, she recently shot to prominence as the interior designer of actress Mandy Moore’s mid-century LA house, a dreamy space filled with gorgeously appointed, well, everything!


Australia: @miss_ness_tay

The Sydney home of magazine and interiors stylist Vanessa Coyler Tay is filled with wantable pieces and ideas to borrow. She regularly takes her followers behind the scenes on her shoots and styling projects too.


Norway: @karoline_nilssen

Defined by super-clean palette, Karoline’s home is filled with sharp lines, muted tones and considered pieces from brands such as Ferm Living, Bloomingville and Hay. Well worth a follow for dedicated followers of Scandi style.


You might also like: In awe of mná - meet the makers behind these gorgeous Irish homewares

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